Maya Abdominal Therapy

content on this page gratefully borrowed from Muse at www.medicineofthefeminine.com

Maya Abdominal Therapy

For centuries, the Maya of Central America have effectively treated reproductive and digestive ailments with a combination of abdominal massage, realignment techniques, herbal preparations and prayer.  The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal TherapyTM (also called Maya Abdominal Massage and Maya Womb Massage) is a comprehensive healing system integrating these traditional practices with holistic medicine of today.

Maya Abdominal/Womb Massage is a non-invasive, external massage that repositions internal organs that have shifted and restricted the flow of blood, lymph, nerve impulses and qi.  This work effectively relieves digestive problems, prevents and treats benign prostate enlargement in men, and is best known for treating women’s reproductive health issues by correcting a prolapsed, fallen, or tilted uterus.  Additionally, this work facilitates the unwinding of emotional trauma that is often a factor in digestive and reproductive health problems.   *Scroll down the page to read a list of symptoms that can be effectively addressed with the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT)*

Women’s Reproductive Health
Throughout the course of a woman’s life, the uterus can shift out of its normal anatomical position, which is behind the bladder in the center of the pelvis, about one and a half inches above the pubic bone. It is held in this position by muscles, the vaginal wall and ligaments, which all have the elasticity to accommodate a growing fetus and to move freely when the bladder or bowel is full.  These ligaments and muscles can weaken, causing the uterus to fall down, forward, backward or to either side.  Some causes for this include injury to the sacrum or tailbone, pregnancy and birth, high impact exercise such as running on hard surfaces, pelvic surgeries, weak pelvic floor muscles, and just plain old gravity!In Western medicine, a “tipped” or prolapsed uterus is considered normal, and pharmaceuticals or surgery are prescribed for reproductive health problems, which in reality try to eliminate symptoms without addressing the source.  If a woman’s uterus is out of alignment, blood, lymph and energy flow is restricted throughout the pelvis, nerve pathways are compressed, and surrounding ligaments, fascia and muscles are overstretched and/or hypertonic.  This blocked and congested environment is the origin of a huge range of female health complaints, from painful menstruation to infertility.  Midwives and healers of Central America agree that most female troubles are caused by the “wandering womb.”  They believe that a woman’s uterus is the spiritual centre of her being, and if it is out of balance, she will be physically, emotionally and spiritually out of balance.

Digestive Issues
ATMAT addresses digestive problems by unwinding stress and emotions held in the belly and releasing constricted musculature.  Our overall health depends on the harmony of our organ systems.  When we bring our organs back into balance, homeostasis is restored in the entire body.  We are then able to flush toxins regularly, synthesize our natural balance of hormones, transport and absorb nutrients, and our body returns to its inherent ability to self heal.

Fertility
Maya Abdominal Therapy has been effective for increasing fertility in many women who have had difficulty conceiving.  By helping the uterus return to its optimal position, the body can then clear congestion in the pelvis, support a healthy uterine lining, and normalize hormone levels to support fertility and sustain a healthy pregnancy.   The use of ATMAT for fertility enhancement is particularly effective in combination with acupuncture and may be safely used to enhance effectiveness of Assisted Reproductive Technologies.  Fertility may be additionally increased with Maya Abdominal Therapy for the partner, in order to increase sperm count and motility.

Pregnancy, Labor & Postpartum
Receiving ATMAT during pregnancy can ease common discomforts such as heartburn,  heaviness in the pelvis, and aches and pains around the round ligament and in the low back, sacrum and tailbone.  ATMAT facilitates optimal fetal positioning by aligning the uterus as is grows in size!  ATMAT practitioners working with birthing mothers have found that ATMAT treatments throughout pregnancy contribute to shorter births and more easeful labors.  Certain ATMAT techniques are also applied to stimulate labor in cases of stalled progression.  One to three follow-up sessions after giving birth (beginnining at 6 weeks postpartum) assist ligamentous healing and the return of the uterus and bladder to their optimal positioning.  For cesarian births, postpardum treatments can begin as soon as the surgical scar is fully healed.  ATMAT can then help to realign muscle fibers and fascia around the cesarian scar, reducing scar tissue and adhesions than can cause discomfort and contribute to difficulty having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian).

For Men
Men benefit greatly from ATMAT techniques as well.  The prostate is a glandular organ that also rests behind the bladder but has no ligaments for support.  The prostate gland and surrounding tissues can become congested, eventually resulting in early stages of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH), impotence (depending on the cause), and decreased sperm count.  By facilitating clear, unimpeded circulation and lymphatic drainage throughout the abdomen and pelvis, the massage can prevent and decrease swelling and inflammation of the prostate.  In my practice I work with men who are spouses, friends or family of my female clientele.

Self Care
A vital component of this tradition is teaching skills that you, the client, can utilize on your own to support your reproductive and overall health.  Self Care massage techniques done regularly at home greatly enhance the work done with a practitioner by continuing to assist full circulation and lymphatic flow, relax tight ligaments and muscles and tone weak ones.

History & Lineage
Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN, developed the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy to synthesize modern understanding of anatomy, physiology, herbology and naprapathy (advanced soft tissue manipulation) with traditional Maya healing techniques.  She was trained in Maya healing traditions by Don Elijio Panti, renowned Maya shaman of Belize, with whom she mentored for ten years until his death at age 103 in 1996.  It is Dr. Arvigo’s passion to bring the simple and safe healing techniques of the Central American “sobaderas” to North America and Europe.  She has made her home in Central America for over 30 years, where she continues to study and collaborate with traditional healers.  Learn more at www.arvigotherapy.com

(photo by Joshua Sage)

Common symptoms relieved or prevented by Maya Abdominal Therapy

-Digestive problems and constipation
-Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
-Irritable Bowel Syndrome
-Crohn’s Disease
-Old adhesions and scar tissue from pelvic
and abdominal surgeries are diminished
-Varicose veins
-Sciatica, low back and sacrum pain
-Frequent urination and incontinence
-Urinary tract and bladder infection
-Tired legs, numb feet, and sore heels

For Women:
-Hormonal imbalances
-Painful or irregular menses
-PMS
-Dark, thick blood and clots in menses
-Amenorrhea (no menstruation at all)
-Headaches or dizziness with menses
-Endometriosis/Endometritis
-Uterine polyps and fibroids
-Ovarian cysts
-Prolapsed uterus or bladder
-Painful or irregular ovulation
-Vaginitis, yeast and uterine infections
-Painful intercourse
-Infertility/ difficulty conceiving and carrying to term
-Physical discomfort during pregnancy
-Premature deliveries, weak newborn infants
-Reduced ligament elasticity after childbirth
-Facilitates healing of scar tissue from termination, Cesarean, or hysterectomy
-Difficult menopause

For Men:
-Prostate swelling and inflammation
-Low sperm count or motility
-Premature ejaculation
-Impotency issues


MAT Q&A

What could cause a displaced uterus?
– High impact exercise or running on cement surfaces
– Injury to the sacrum or tailbone from a fall, car accident, etc.
– Pelvic ligaments that have weakened due to over-stretching during pregnancy and birth
– Lifting and carrying heavy objects before or during menstruation, or too soon after childbirth
– Time and gravity
– Abdominal and pelvic surgeries
– Weak pelvic floor muscles
– Chronic muscle spasm around the low back and sacrum
– Emotional armoring from trauma or abuse at any time in life

How quickly should I expect a change?
This varies from person to person.   It may take as little as one session or as long as several months for the uterus to be brought into alignment and for the ligaments to gain enough strength and elasticity to support the new centered position.  Three to four sessions are the average.  Women often report a rapid improvement in symptoms and sense of well-being when self-care is performed regularly.

Is uterine massage recommended for all women? 
Almost every woman can benefit greatly from ATMAT.  The lower abdominal portion of the massage is not appropriate:

-During menstrual bleeding
-For a woman using an IUD for birth control
-During the first trimester of pregnancy
-Until a health care provider has approved the massage following normal vaginal birth or C-section
-In the case of hiatal hernia

In these situations, gentle, superficial massage only is applied over the uterus.

I’ve had a hysterectomy – how does uterine massage help?
Women who have had hysterectomies also benefit greatly from ATMAT.  The techniques improve circulation in and around scars and assists proper flow of lymph, which often becomes blocked after surgery and results in swelling, burning, and deep aching pain in the pelvis.  By utilizing uterine massage techniques on a regular basis, scar tissue can be prevented from forming in the pelvis after surgery.  Ligaments and other remaining organs also benefit from improving circulatory flow to the pelvis.

How does the abdominal massage help with digestion?
Poor diet and emotional armoring are the two most common causes of digestive troubles.  Stress and emotions held in the organs cause the small intestine and colon to become tense,  twisted or kinked, creating blockage that inhibits digestion and elimination.  Surrounding fascia can tighten into adhesions that pull organs out of optimal position, and impede blood flow and enzyme secretions.  Sometimes initially felt as “butterflies in your stomach”, emotional holding in the belly can lead to constipation, indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, and may be a significant contribution to more serious conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD), and Crohn’s Disease.

Maya Abdominal Therapy works to break down facial adhesions, scar tissue and open blockage in the digestive tract, often releasing stored emotions in the process of physically unwinding the abdomen.  Usually there is a dramatic improvement in digestion after just one session when combined with proper diet and self-care.

What is “self-care” and why does it help?
During a first or second ATMAT session, each client is instructed in performing simple abdominal massage on themselves.  By practicing self care massage daily for 5-20 minutes, individuals are able to improve their symptoms and greatly enhance the work done with their practitioner by continuing to facilitate unimpeded circulation and lymphatic movement through the abdomen and pelvis.

 

content on this page gratefully borrowed from Muse at www.medicineofthefeminine.com